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Re: Smoke 2013

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Walter Soyka
Re: Smoke 2013
on Dec 21, 2012 at 5:00:59 pm

[Sandeep Sajeev] "I've seen it mentioned somewhere that all it takes is a couple of days to get up to speed with Batch (CFX) and Action - but this is simply not true."

Agreed. The timeline centricity in 2013 makes it more approachable for an editor, but once you step into the effects side for anything more than the simple demo scenarios, you really have to understand the Autodesk way if you want to get anything done.

It took me a couple months of on-and-off use before CFX and Action clicked, but once it did, I felt a lot more comfortable working and exploring. I actually think it's somewhat like After Effects in this regard: the learning curve is not linear. There are some bumps along the way that take a lot of effort to get over. There were a few points where I struggled through internalized some of the key concepts, but then once I got them, the learning curve smoothed out for a bit.

All that said, I do think it will still take me a bit of work before I can operate Smoke as quickly as I can Ae/Pr.



[Sandeep Sajeev] "Things I love: Paint, Tracking, Stabilization, CFX and Action on one machine. Having all of this accessible without having to switch away from my timeline in the offline process is very satisfying. Things I dislike: having to render constantly, and the fact that you don't have playback while rendering. This can be a killer if you've got a client in the room, especially one who is accustomed to the speed of the FFI boxes. Things I can't fathom: the lack of the following- 3D tracker, Particles, Projections."

I love your list.

I'd add limited secondaries in the Colour Warper to the "Things I dislike" list, and I'd add weak 3D viewport navigation, lack of vector import and lack of dope sheet the the "Things I can't fathom" list.



[Sandeep Sajeev] "So in my opinion, if you're willing to put in the time, accept the holes in it's feature set, and adapt some of your existing workflows, then Smoke is a good addition to an editors skillset. "

Agreed.

I started training on Smoke 2012, and I've been working with the 2013 pre-release for some time. The addition of CFX makes the workflow much more approachable for me vs. the clip-with-history-based workflow in 2012. As a designer, I really like Action, but the "things I can't fathom" list represents some serious room for improvement.

At this point, I'm looking at Smoke as an addition to my toolset, too; it won't be right for me for every project, and I'll still be spending a lot of time in Ae/Pr, but I do think some of my projects will benefit from a Smoke finish.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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